Cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (VI) has taken a lead in hiking tariffs by 6 to 8 per cent as it struggles to retain customers and clear its pending dues. However, the company has moved cautiously by raising the tariff only in limited circles such as Uttar Pradesh. While the hike comes into immediate effect, there has been no announcement.
In the post-earnings call in October, Vodafone Idea managing director Ravinder Takkar had said the company would not shy away from taking the first step in raising tariffs.
The Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) will meet on Friday to discuss and evaluate proposals for raising funds in one or more tranches through public issue, issue of equity shares or securities among other options.
The announcement came after the Supreme Court's September 1, verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) issue, wherein the top court gave a 10-year timeline to the telcos to repay their dues, with an upfront payment of 10 per cent by March 31, 2021.
In a fresh twist to the controversy over premium telecom plans, Vodafone Idea on Monday moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), seeking a stay on the regulator’s diktat to block such schemes. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had in a written communication on July 11 asked Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to hold their tariff plans prioritizing premium customers. The TDSAT is expected to hear the Vodafone Idea case on Tuesday.
Shares of telecom companies declined as much as 40 per cent on Wednesday after the Supreme Court said that the self-assessment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues by the firms or the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) may amount to contempt of court.
Among individual stocks, Vodafone Idea tumbled 40 per cent to Rs 2.91 per share. At 11:35 am, the stock was trading 25.36 per cent lower at Rs 3.62 as compared to 2.06 per cent fall in Sensex.
Shares of telecom companies gained on Wednesday on report that it would take at least six months to evaluate the companies' self-assessment of dues linked to adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
Among individual stocks, Vodafone Idea surged as much as 23.5 per cent to Rs 4.94 on the BSE while Bharti Airtel was up 2.46 per cent to Rs 508.5. In comparison, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was trading 0.1 per cent higher at 10 AM.
Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar on Tuesday called on Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash amid concerns of its very survival if the government invokes bank guarantee over no payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
The company on Monday paid Rs 2,500 crore on account of its AGR dues and said that another Rs 1,000 crore will be paid by Friday. It is said that funds are being arranged to pay the remaining amount.
Shares of Vodafone Idea continued their decline, falling 15 per cent to Rs 2.91 on the BSE on Tuesday, after Care Ratings (CARE) downgraded its ratings on the long-term bank facilities and non-convertible debentures.
The stock of the telecom services firm was trading lower for the seventh straight day, plunging 44 per cent during the period. It was trading close to its all-time low price of Rs 2.61 touched on November 15, 2019.
Shares of Vodafone Idea surged 19 per cent to Rs 4.09 on the BSE on Monday as the loss-making firm said it would pay its dues linked to adjusted gross revenue (AGR) in the next few days after assessing the amount.
The Supreme Court had on Friday dismissed the petitions of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea seeking a staggered option to pay their AGR-related dues. Following the SC ruling, Vodafone Idea's stock price had plummeted 19 per cent.
Bharti Airtel on Wednesday pitched for a healthy telecom sector with three players, and said Vodafone Idea’s survival will be good from the ‘investment and reputation’ point of view for India.
In the company’s post-earnings conference call, Bharti Airtel’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Badal Bagri said the telecom sector was large enough to accommodate three players. “On Vodafone, I think my view is that they will remain and I wish that they thrive.
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